Does Poly Strapping Have Anything To Do With Parrots?

Strange term “Poly Strapping”; my first thoughts were in the direction of parrots even though they are often referred to a “Polly The parrot”. From there, I wondered if they were being strapped down or being punished by their owners hitting them with a leather belt (giving them the strap). After a little reflection; I decided that I was beating up the wrong track altogether and needed to rethink what the phrase could possibly mean.

Old Fashioned Strap

A thick leather belt for men’s trousers was often called a strap which led to the term “giving the kid a strapping” to be used to describe a particularly hard form of parental corporal punishment where the father hit his offspring with the leather belt strap. Strangely, strapping was also used to describe a youth who had grown to quite a vigorous size. However, this still did not seem to be where I wanted to end up; so, I took another look at “poly”


Not an easy word to put a meaning to on its own. Probably we are looking at an abbreviation and, to further complicate things an abbreviation that acts as a prefix to another word. The first question is – what is that other word? It is unlikely to be polygamy or polyglot but think about what these two do mean –more than one wife or language respectively – and take that thought into science. Think particularly about the types of synthetic material that we lump together under the generic name of “plastics”. Many plastics come from organic chemistry (hydrocarbons in particular) and are formed by changing a monomer into a polymer (prefix poly).

Monomer denotes a single molecule which can be chemically bound with other molecules to form a polymer. Example – vinyl chloride polymerizes into polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Many synthetic polymers start with the prefix “poly”.

So, Poly Often Means Plastic

In other words, Poly Strapping is the same as plastic strapping. It is unlikely that we are getting involved with plastic bra straps; but, it is quite likely that we are looking at the straps that are placed around boxes or bundles of loose things to hold them secure.

When something heavy has to be strapped up; it is likely that metal straps will be used; but, for lighter weights, plastic straps are widely used in many dispatch or storage packaging operations. Polypropylene straps are probably the most widely used followed by polyester strapping for more arduous duties – however, to simply call for Poly Strapping does not clarify which type of polymer you are asking for.

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